We love celebrating our au pairs here at AuPairCare. Every year we hold an Ultimate Host Family Contest that celebrates participants who embody the spirit of the au pair cultural change program. Our au pairs, however, aren’t the only ones who make this program great – amazing host families across the country are highlighted as nominees for our Ultimate Host Family contest! Au pair Leone from South Africa submitted a wonderful story about her host family, the Hudson family. Read on for more!
Why do you have the Ultimate Host Family?
It all started with their ultimate fight to get me as an Au Pair. See, the Griffins weren't necessarily looking for an Au Pair themselves but rather one for a friend. As they explained it they watched my video and instantly knew I was the right Au Pair FOR THEM. They had to get off the website and join the program themselves before they could reach out to me so that's exactly what they did. When the Griffins eventually got back online they searched for my name and unfortunately my profile was not showing up. At that point, they describe that their hearts dropped to their stomach. My host mom Julie immediately got into contact with the headquarters of the agency demanding to retrieve my profile, the helpful agents explained that my interview slots are just full and as long as I don't accept one of them as my host families I'd be available at *whatever date and time they said.* The Griffins set an alarm for the exact moment they could potentially contact me and prayed.
At the same time I was praying for the right family to reach out to me. Finally, the day came and the Griffins reached out. I remember feeling an abundance of assurance and peace. We had our 2 interviews, I said yes on the second one and I remember my host mom crying when I told her I'd just accepted them on my profile as my family. We stayed in contact every day thereafter even going as far as Skyping at least once a week to bond and the bonding didn't stop there. Once I arrived I was accepted with open arms and warm hearts from not only them but their families and their community.
We have shared going on 2 memorable years together and I have a feeling our relationships will last forever.
What special moments can you share?
We've shared our cultures through food, music, movies, traditions, language, stories and so much more! The family has been nothing but super supportive not only throughout my transition to the states but through birthdays and holidays, an entire global pandemic, good days, bad days and even the mundane ones. They've guided me through my transition into my early 20s and taught me a lot about life. I've cried with them and laughed with them, asked them for advice and even spoke up for what I believe in. It's the best kind of environment to be a part of.
How have you and your host family shared your culture with each other?
A few of my most memorable moments during the program is my first thanksgiving when I got to meet most of their lovely families, the neighborhood turkey trot where I ran a mile with a 5 year old on my back and a scooter in my hand because she was tired, my first birthday here, they hosted exactly what I described I would usually have back home, our family trip to Disneyland, Christmas in our neighborhood, Agritopia, looking at lights from the back of a carriage being pulled by horses, New Years spent in northern Arizona at the family cabin, sledding by day and playing board games with hot chocolate by night, me being baptized at my church with my host mom in the water with me because I wanted to spend the moment with someone who I feel safe with, I love and who loves me, the after party for the baptism was really great too!
There is so much more that I cherish and I am certain these moments will collect far into the future as well. I am so thankful for the Griffins.
I appreciate how their families and them accepted me as not only a part of the household but a part of the family for real.
For not only the blessing they bestowed on me but the blessings they have been to me!